This is a guest post from www.peacefulsinglegirl.wordpress.com (my other blog) this week for the SINGLE ladies. It is a single Christian man’s response to a question I asked him after Tuesday’s post (Why Asking About His “Five Year Plan” Can Backfire). I believe that the way we treat our men reflects the same level of respect that we give to Jesus. When I was disrespectful and controlling with my husband, that is also how I treated God. (Of course, I didn’t realize I was being that way with either of them.) And when a woman is respectful towards her husband and honors him – that is almost always a woman who also respects and honors Christ.
I asked him, “What can Christian single women do when they believe they are having to wait too long for the Christian man they are interested in to “move forward” in a romantic relationship?”
His answer amazes me. This may be a bit painful to hear – because it will force us to look into the mirror and we may be surprised about what we see there. But his response has so much meat in it, that I want us all to hear what he has to say. I’m an old married woman :), and I learned a LOT from his perspective that even applies in marriage. Many of us made a lot of these exact mistakes when we were dating our husbands – and I believe we are sometimes suffering in our marriages today because of those mindsets that began early in our relationships. I think this same mindset may also be how we sometimes approach God – and I believe it is time to take a look at our approach to our husbands and to Jesus. THANK YOU to this man for his willingness to share:
Every couple will have a different set of personalities and circumstances. I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all answer to this other than to listen for the Holy Spirit’s voice, and have a heart that desires to obey God and honor your brother in Christ before yourself.
If your priority and focus is on yourself and your dreams and expectations and everything YOU want in the relationship or engagement/marriage, you will show him that not only is he less important to you than your list of desires/dreams/expectations, but that you only see him as the means by which you achieve those desires/dreams/expectations, ie: a convenient object to use.
Do we say to Jesus, “Hurry-up and jump on that cross, because I want to taste Paradise?!” No! This was his choice and gift to us! Paradise/Heaven are gifts and blessings we are lucky to receive, not a “right” we deserve when we want it. But that is what dating Christian women feels like. They believe men are obligated by God to make all their desires, dreams, wishes, and expectations come true, and the sooner the better.
Your lists of desires and qualifications, and your urgent timetable do not change a man’s gift into your “right!”
We don’t owe you anything! (From Peacefulwife – please remember, this is a single man – not even in a dating relationship. Two Christian women he was friends with, not even dating, at different times demanded to know his “5 year plan” and then never talked with him again after he tried to answer their surprise “pop quiz” as he described it.)
Our hearts, our thoughts, our time, our energy, our money, our commitments, and our lifetime of hard work and sacrifices are all our gifts to the women we choose to give them to, when we choose to give those things to them. When women DEMAND any of these, we don’t want to give them away.
Many (single) Christian women place so much emphasis on marriage, children, and materialistic things they want NOW, that many men feel a lot of pressure to hear God correctly and honor their girlfriends, all while trying to slow down the process enough so we can feel comfortable about whether or not to move forward, having a plan, working hard, and investing ourselves into both the costs and benefits of the relationship. It is not as easy as simply saying, “Yes,” and women would not be satisfied with words alone. I believe men deserve the time they need to make such promises and commitments willingly.
If you want the gift, you have to wait until it is handed to you. You can’t just pry it out of his hands and act like you already deserve it, and that he owes it to you. It is not your gift to give!
The more women want to speed-up their relationships, the more men will resist.
I wonder, “What do women expect will happen when they do become married? Do women think they are right to drag their husbands around by the hand for the rest of their lives. I hope not!”
If you want a relationship with a man, you should learn to love and adapt to his timetable. If he loves you, he will learn gradually over time how to balance both, but if he feels rushed he will resist, and you will only be adding more time to your wait. If you feel a need to rush things, you will likely show him that his sense of time, perspective, and priorities are “wrong,” and that you are unwilling to value or respect and consider his thoughts and opinions, and may not ever be willing to follow his lead.
Speaking from experience, I’m so used to Christian women jumping insistently from the beginning to rush and force the issue, that I would feel much more honored by waiting. It shows me more respect for my thoughts and opinions, and allows me the flexibility and opportunity to practice leading, while giving her the same flexibility and opportunity to practice following. To me, it demonstrates the difference between actually following or merely talking about it.
I don’t want to be led around by the hand and told what a good little leader I am every time I do what she wants.
I guess the real question is, “Which is most important to you, the man you say you love or your need to live by your own rules and schedules?” Only one of those will have priority.
Again, I believe God will speak clearly how best each couple should proceed to avoid unnecessary troubles.
Also, when 66%-75% of all break-ups and divorces are initiated by women for selfish and “no fault” reasons, that statistic alone encourages me to wait longer to marry a woman that would be right for me. If women were truly concerned about not “wasting time”, they wouldn’t date people for fun or break-up because they’re bored. Their “Yes” would mean yes, and their “No” would mean no. If most women can’t keep their promises, I see no reason to rush into any committed relationship or marriage.
Men aren’t afraid of commitment! We’re afraid of what will happen to us after that commitment!